The Financial Outlook in Higher Education

On the heels of Michigan’s two largest universities announcing tuition hikes I felt it pertinent to remind us “7 in 10 Undergraduates Get Financial Aid” (Chronicle of Higher Education). Put into another statistic, that’s 71% (according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics). At Michigan State we have roughly 38,000 undergraduates (MSU Facts), meaning that nearly 26,500 of those students are using some sort of financial aid.

The picture is a bit different for graduate students, quoting from Beckie Supiano’s CoHE piece,

“The share of graduate students receiving any aid dropped from 73 percent in 2007-8 to 70 percent in 2011-12. And the makeup of the aid those students received also changed. The share of graduate students receiving grants dropped from 41 percent in 2007-8 to 36 precent in 2011-12, while the share receiving loans grew from 42 percent in 2007-8 to 45 percent in 2011-12. The average amount that graduate students borrowed from all sources also increased, from $18,400 in 2007-8 to $21,400 in 2011-12.”

In short, funding is down, while borrowing is up. Thus more and more working-age adults are entering the job market only to start working off mountains of student loan debt, not to mention the credit card debt that often comes for undergrads and grad students alike. Of more concern, perhaps, is how these numbers cut across hugely important factors like race, socioeconomic and immigration statuses, age, abilities, sex and gender, and place (like specific states, or urban, suburban, and rural locales). These considerations are key to figuring out where we go from here.

Apple’s Failure at Diversity

Selena Larsen, writing for ReadWrite, takes Apple to task for the lack of diversity in choosing speakers for their annual Worldwide Developers Conference, often the site of many hardware and software launches. Larsen identifies this failure as a larger issue, “It’s indicative of a much broader diversity problem within the technology industry—especially in roles that are highly technical, where—to put it plainly—women and minorities are vastly outnumbered by white males.”

It’s not a surprise that so many young girls express interest and talent in math and the sciences, but so few are pushed into these fields. Larsen takes issue with Apple specifically because “Apple clearly has both the resources and the cachet to attract them (women, and racial and ethnic minorities) as employees and speakers.” Read more here.

A Look at Google’s Activity Streams

File this under Did You Know – Google Drive is arguably one of the most often used collaborative writing and filesharing tools across fields, disciplines, and industries. In January, Google introduced activity streams, making it easier to for you to track changes among multiple users. And for you track changes lovers, a la Microsoft Word, this feature has also been added. Check out this helpful video from The Chromebook Guys to get more acquainted with activity streams.